Last night our little church put on our annual Christmas play. This year it was almost totally performed by our kids (with 5 adults in the cast one of which was my youngest daughter, Jacqui). It was a precious and wonderful performance. The message was fresh and well-presented. It was called "Miracle on Main Street." The simple message was that it doesn’t matter the fancy trimmings on the outside, it’s what is happening in the heart that is important at Christmas. The kids worked very hard to get ready and it showed.
As I sat in the audience waiting for the play to start, I flashed back to all the school plays, church plays and band performances that I have been privileged to see my children perform in. None were particularly polished in comparison to today’s high-tech world’s standards but they sure won a place in my heart! As a mom, watching your children step out on stage, face the world and their fears and shine is pretty much what it’s all about!
One of the fun things in a small community, is that we really know each other’s kids, which makes it extra special. Our dear friends Dolly and Sam have two daughters, Samantha who is 7 and her sister Sierra who is just a little over 3. Sierra was very premature and her life hung in the balance for months. Every step forward she made for a while, was matched by a terrifying step backwards. She still is very petite and somewhat frail, but is quite a tiger personality-wise. She was a little distracted on stage last night though. When the choir moved to the left, she moved to the right. She stood and watched, grabbed her sister’s hands at times and tried to hold them as Samantha was trying to do her motions, but she didn’t phase Samantha at all, she patiently and perfectly kept doing her lines and her singing. Sierra didn’t do as well as she had in earlier night’s performances, but she did demonstrate an amazing talent… she can pick her nose (on stage) with either hand and sometimes both at once! Poor Dolly! All she could do is roll her eyes, throw up her hands and laugh!!
And then there is our dear friends Bill and Beth’s son, Marcus. He’s four and worked so hard to learn his lines. He’s quite the ham on stage and really enjoys being in the limelight. Even in our regular Sunday Services, you can hear his sweet voice strongly over many of the adults. He was so excited to be in the play and couldn’t wait for the very first performance that the cast did for a local nursing home. After a while, Marcus turned to his teacher in distress. She motioned over to him to come to her and as he was going to lay his head on her shoulder, up came the entire contents of his dinner all over her! Poor Marcus! Poor Renee! Who could have been prepared for that to happen? What do you do when you’re an hour from home with no change of clothes and you need to keep giving direction to the kids in the show? You just keep going until the show’s done! Renee was amazing, Marcus went home and is still recovering and the story has already become legendary within our fellowhip :-)! Oh the unexpected surprises of working with children.
If you want to "get in the spirit of Christmas" it could be as close to you as the nearest school play or church choir performance. I hope you’ll go support your neighborhood children even if yours are grown. They love to shine and their smiles put the sparkle in the holidays.
Oh yeah, and of course my daughter did great! But then that might just be the proud mama in me talking!!!
THE CHRISTMAS STORY FROM MATTHEW: Matt 1:17-21
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." NIV